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Young Emiratis Urged to Boost Digital Skills

by Eddie Rayner

Marking World Skills Day, Zayed University and the Al Ghurair Foundation for Education announced that over 2,500 Emirati students have enrolled in online programmes to equip them better for the workplace. The two entities celebrated the achievement, after celebrating the second anniversary of their successful partnership. Their collaboration followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2020 that aimed to help young people with their education and early employment journeys.

Zayed University students are now able to enrol in the Foundation’s TechUp platform after the recent expansion of the partnership. The two organisations had initially focused on the award-winning Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Programme, a breakthrough online education and career readiness platform.

More than 2500 Emirati students have already enrolled in online career readiness programmes as a result of the Zayed University -Abdulla al Ghurair Foundation for Education partnership

TechUp, powered by Udacity, is a new pathway project under the Foundation’s NOMU initiative designed to support foundational and practitioner-level digital literacy skill development. It is dedicated to training Emirati youth in diverse levels of digital fluency and in-demand skills, enabling them to become the UAE’s future leaders and entrepreneurs across the nation’s thriving tech sector. A 2020 survey by PwC of CEOs in the Middle East found that 80% of respondents believed that the availability of key digital skills is a business threat.[1] By 2030, it is estimated that the global need for advanced IT and programming skills could grow by as much as 90%.[2]

Over the last year, Zayed University has sharpened its focus on equipping students with the tools to ensure their success in the world of work, delivering the soft skills and the creative talents that are necessary for this century of challenge and change.

TechUp, which promotes digital skills, is the latest AGFE programme available to ZU students to increase career opportunities

Speaking on World Youth Skills Day, Zayed University’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Professor Clayton MacKenzie said: Our partnership with the Al Ghurair Foundation for Education is a key component of Zayed University’s commitment to creating graduates who are fit and ready for the future. We are all increasingly aware of the importance of digital skills across the board. I encourage Zayed University students to take the opportunity to participate in programmes such as TechUp, and for all young Emiratis to focus on their digital literacy. The demand for digital skills will continue to grow exponentially in the decades ahead.”

Dr Sonia Ben Jafaar, Chief Executive of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education said:“The synergy between our two organisations means that the relationship between Zayed University and the Foundation continues to go from strength to strength. Despite the global challenges of the past few years, we have been able to maintain our focus on upskilling young Emiratis and this will only accelerate now through our TechUp initiative. In less than four months, since its launch across the UAE, we have enrolled over 2,000 youth eager to learn, and 215 have earned their first certificate. The faculty and staff at Zayed University  are deeply committed to ensuring their students have the best possible education, and they share our belief in enabling young Emiratis to focus on upskilling their technology skills alongside their degree programmes.”